Coles Latest Act Of Deceit

I wish to nominate Coles for another Spot-A-Shonky award for their latest acts of deceit.

Whilst at Coles today, I noticed that the packs of pork belly were labelled at a mere $2.70 kg, so I automatically thought that they must have been incorrectly labelled.

I then noticed that the shelf price label also stated $2.70 kg and was highlighted in yellow. after which I saw that the packs were all marked “Best Before 05 Jun 19” and “Best Before 06 Jun 19”.

The packs all had “Special” stickers attached but the shelf label did not have the special expiry date in the bottom right-hand corner.

The price labels on the pork bellies had not only been placed over the original label but over at least one other revised label as shown in the photo below.

There was absolutely nothing to indicate that the product was at the end of its shelf life but everything to try to conceal it as a special.

Must be Coles version of a Dutch Auction.

Even more mysterious is that the Coles website is not showing the product on special but has it listed at an “Everyday” price of $14.40 kg.



The label must be placed so as to prevent a previous barcode from scanning, in order that the discounted price be available to the customer. I agree that doing this must not obscure the best before date.

It is not unusual to see a succession of labels offering greater and greater discounts as a perishable product approaches its best before date.

I would guess that management of expiring stock is done at the level of the individual store. I would not expect to see any such specials on the Coles web site.

I think that if you eat pork belly, you get what you deserve. Ew. :slight_smile:


They are supposed to use markdown stickers as opposed to trying to mislead customers with fasle specials claims.

See the photo in my post regarding Coles Generous Markdowns for an example of the correct sticker.

Supposed by whom? On what basis?

Documented Coles policy, a copy of which you can supply here?

Anecdotally observed by you?

The law?

The distinction between “quick sale” and “special” is fairly fine. Are you making the case that it is misleading (as in Australian Consumer Law) to use a “special” sticker in this scenario?


@Fred123, you must let everyone know which Coles you shop at as these bargains should be shared for others to enjoy.

Pork belly I bought from a Vietnamese butcher in Brisbane (Inala) last Friday was about $13/kg. I wish it was $2.70…but my wastline possibly doesn’t think so.

We do Chinese red pork belly slow cooked on the BBQ (like the red pork sold in Chinatowns/restaurants)…delicious and favoured by many of our friends. We cheat a little the use a premade spice mix.

This is another bargain or the week/month/year…

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What ever happened to the



As in the photo I posted in my later post Coles Generous Markdowns
it was obviously nothing more than a calculated attempt to mislead customers that it was a legitimate “special” as opposed to an attempt to sell products that had already passed their “Best Before” date.

Legitimate Coles specials have a shelf price label which is printed on yellow paper and has the date when the special ends in the bottom right-hand corner.

They were able to use “Reduced to Clear” labels on their 5% markdown on $66.00 kg cheese but were obviously prepared to sell customers meat products which had already reached their “Best Before” date

And if there were any health problems due to customers not realising that they had purchased meat that was past its prime some days after they had bought it, what would the “blame game” be saying.

How do you know that it is the case. Differing, yet just as legitimate viewpoints could be taken…

  • A store can legally sell products after the passing of a best before date providing that the product is not damaged, deteriorated or perished. This can occur as the product is still fit to eat, however, its nutritional value may have declined since the product was packaged. It appears that Coles has reduced the price of the products nearing/just passing of the best before dates in attempt to sell them as they didn’t sell at the usual price. It is better than supermarkets/food retailers reduce prices and sell them instead of creating food waste. It is worth noting that this is unlike use by dates where it is illegal to sell products after the use by dates due to likely increase in food safety concerns.
  • There is no mandatory requirements in relation to how best before date products are sold or price relabelled near of immediately after the best before date. If one looks at the ACCC website in relation to price displays, Coles appear to have met these requirements.
  • It is possible that Coles have temporarily run out of the previous ‘marked down’ labels or is trailing their own new labelling for such products. Just because it is a change which may have occurred in the past, it does not necessary indicate it is deceitful but only a change in the labelling they have used.
  • The prices for the products labelled as a special are very cheap for the customer and any reasonable customer would have realised that the items were a good buy at those prices. Therefore the ‘Special’ labelling by Coles appears appropriate on face value.
  • The best before date is clearly shown next to the price label, so any customer is aware that the product is nearing/has passed the best before date when making a purchase decision. A customer needs to evaluate whether such purchases are in their interest.

It appears that Coles has not done anything wrong (as they can legally sell products close to or immediately after the best before dates), the price labelling meets that required by the ACCC and that the product was indeed on sale as the usual price was $14.40/kg (discounted to $2.70/kg and labelled as a special).

Just because Coles has used different labelling to communicate to the customer that the product is on special, it is not deceitful. If Coles had covered the best before dates or hadn’t changed the price and labelled the product as on ‘Special’, then this could be classed as deceitful. As I have indicated, if I saw similar product in my local supermarket on special with similar prices, I would be stocking up and filling the freezer.

Also, if one does not like the way Coles runs its business and one has alternative supermarket choices, one can easily change to other supermarket retailer.


Exactly. I sometimes buy products that are close to or at their best before date. I evaluate whether I will have used the product on or before that date. If not then I don’t buy - but that is my choice. (Even then, as you say, the best before date is not officially a “hard” date. I just use it as if it were.)

Overall summary - there are plenty of genuinely deceptive (illegal) things that companies do, and plenty of shonky things that companies do, so let’s not “cry wolf” over things that are marginal at best.